Kentucky among first states signed up to adopt driver’s licenses and state IDs in Apple Wallet

September 20, 2021 | 12:06 am

Updated September 19, 2021 | 9:01 pm

Apple Wallet

Apple announced earlier this month that it is working with several states which will roll out the ability for their residents to add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet on their iPhone and Apple Watch. 

Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to introduce this new innovation to their residents, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will enable select airport security checkpoints and lanes in participating airports as the first locations customers can use their driver’s license or state ID in Wallet. 

According to a media release from Apple, Wallet provides a more secure and convenient way for customers to present their driver’s licenses and state IDs on iPhone or Apple Watch.

“The addition of driver’s licenses and state IDs to Apple Wallet is an important step in our vision of replacing the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, said in a release. “We are excited that the TSA and so many states are already on board to help bring this to life for travelers across the country using only their iPhone and Apple Watch, and we are already in discussions with many more states as we’re working to offer this nationwide in the future.”

According to Apple, driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet will provide an “easy, fast, and more secure way” for people to present their driver’s license or state ID using their iPhone or Apple Watch. 

According to the release:

  • Adding a driver’s license or state ID to Wallet: Similar to how customers add new credit cards and transit passes to Wallet today, they can simply tap the + button at the top of the screen in Wallet on their iPhone to begin adding their license or ID. If the user has an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone, they will be prompted to also add their ID or driver’s license to their Wallet app on their Apple Watch. The customer will then be asked to use their iPhone to scan their physical driver’s license or state ID card and take a selfie, which will be securely provided to the issuing state for verification. As an additional security step, users will also be prompted to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process. Once verified by the issuing state, the customer’s ID or driver’s license will be added to Wallet.
  • Presenting a driver’s license or state ID to TSA: Once added to Wallet, customers can present their driver’s license or state ID to the TSA by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at the identity reader. Upon tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch, customers will see a prompt on their device displaying the specific information being requested by the TSA. Only after authorizing with Face ID or Touch ID is the requested identity information released from their device, which ensures that just the required information is shared and only the person who added the driver’s license or state ID to the device can present it. Users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device to present their ID.

According to Apple, “Wallet provides a convenient and more secure way to present driver’s licenses and state IDs, while offering superior security and privacy over a physical wallet,” citing the following reasons in the release:

  • Apple and the issuing states do not know when or where users present their IDs.
  • Driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet take full advantage of the privacy and security built into iPhone and Apple Watch. Customers’ identity data is encrypted and protected against tampering and theft. Biometric authentication using Face ID and Touch ID ensures that only the person who added the ID to the device can view or present their ID or license in Wallet.
  • Driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet are only presented digitally through encrypted communication directly between the device and the identity reader, so users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device.
  • If a user misplaces their iPhone or Apple Watch, they can use the Find My app to lock their device and help locate it, or remotely erase a device.
  • Apple’s mobile ID implementation supports the ISO 18013-5 mDL (mobile driver’s license) standard which Apple has played an active role in the development of, and which sets clear guidelines for the industry around protecting consumers’ privacy when presenting an ID or driver’s license through a mobile device.

Matt Cole, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Vehicle Regulation, said state officials look forward to being one of the first states to partner with Apple on the project.

“The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is excited to be leading the pack through this innovative collaboration with Apple to further deliver on our pledge to take driver licensing to the next level,” Cole said. “The potential for mobile driver’s licenses is limitless, and we look forward to taking steps to continue to offer modern conveniences to Kentuckians while maintaining our unwavering commitment to security and privacy.”

Participating states and the TSA will share more information at a later date about when support for mobile driver’s licenses and state IDs in Wallet will be available in each state, and which TSA airport security checkpoints and select lanes it will be available at first.

More information on Wallet can be found at apple.com/wallet.

September 20, 2021 | 12:06 am

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